Norman outshot Ardmore from the floor and from the line, and took advantage of a significant height advantage to defeat the home Tigers 62-42 Saturday afternoon to win the third-place trophy in the Ardmore Holiday Festival.
Norman's size was a factor in its shooting from the floor. Norman hit 20 of 42 (48 percent) to just 29 percent (14 of 48) for Ardmore. At the line, Norman did the job as well, knocking down 17 of 22 (77 percent) to Ardmore's 11 of 17 (65 percent).
From the beginning, Norman's goal was to work inside for higher percentage shots. They hit three in the paint, two beyond the arc and were 6 of 7 from the line in the first 8 minute to gain an 18-9 lead. All 10 of Norman's second-period field goals came inside the paint, and the visitors hit 5 of 7 from the charity stripe to push their halftime advantage to 33-20.
"We hurt ourselves early by missing four easy layups in the first period," Ardmore coach Kevin Kelly said. "You have to make those against good teams. When you don't, it causes you to press on the defensive end more than you should.
Norman (3-5) doubled up Ardmore in the third and took a 48-27 lead to the fourth.
"We were not as physically and mentally tough as we needed to be today. This is a process for our team right now, and one of the most important ingredients of that process is our toughness, especially at the defensive end."
Senior guard Patrice Bennett almost single-handedly kept Ardmore (6-6) in the mix in the final frame. She scored 11 of her game-high 19 points in the final 8 minutes.
Bennett finished the game a perfect 8 of 8 from the line. Tee Taylor added eight points for Ardmore.
Albany Anderson had 17 points, 13 rebounds and six steals to lead Norman, and Bethany Cox added 16 points.
Ardmore girls finish 1-2
After opening the tournament with a 48-33 victory over Burleson Centennial (Texas), the Ardmore girls dropped their final two games against eventual tournament champion Ft. Smith Northside (Ark.) and Class 6A Norman.
In the win against Centennial on Friday, Ardmore trailed 22-21 at halftime before shutting down the Spartans' offense after halftime.
Ardmore went on a 13-0 run in the third quarter, with Trelynn Cohee capping the surge with a 3-pointer to put Ardmore ahead 38-23. The Tigers outscored the Spartans 16-4 in the third.
Cohee scored 11 points, including three 3-pointers, to lead Ardmore. Patrice Bennett had eight points, Tee Taylor added seven and Zoe Booker, Kyla Stapleton and Destinee Howell each had six.
Ft. Smith Northside, which entered the Holiday Festival as the two-time defending champion, proved to be the best team in the tournament. Against Ardmore, Northside shot out to a 25-9 lead in the first quarter en route to a 65-33 win.